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Wednesday 01, Feb 2017

  Russian Olympic Bobsled Champion Banned For Doping

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Dmitry Trunenkov, who won the four-man bobsled at the Sochi Games, has been banned by the Russian Bobsled Federation after he tested positive last year.

RBF president Alexander Zubkov, who was the teammate of Trunenkov at the 2014 Olympics, remarked we are very disappointed. Zubkov added we will look into how this happened. The RBF imposed a doping ban of four years on Dmitry. His ban is backdated to April 2016, four months before he announced his retirement from competition to focus on his role to lead a patriotic youth group set up by the Russian armed forces.

Dmitry won the silver medal in the four-man event at the 2008 FIBT World Championships in Germany. The Russian bobsledder who has competed since the early 2000s also won a gold medal at the 2009 Bobsleigh European Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland and three European silver medals, all in the four-man event. Dmitry took up sprinting originally whilst at university before he switched to bobsleigh at the age of 21.

Born in the village of Taseyevo in the Krasnoyarsk region, Trunenkov has a degree in industrial and civil construction from the Academy of Architecture and Construction. Considered by many as the best driver in the Russian national bobsleigh team, Dmitry Trunenkov has twice became winner of the World Cup following results of the season for four-man bobs and once for two-man bobs.

In another development, a ban of four years was announced by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency on Alexander Yargunkin, who tested positive shortly before he was due to represent Russia at the 2015 world track championships. A sanction of one year was imposed on rower Yulia Solomentseva, who won silver at the 2014 world junior championships, after being found guilty of failing to make herself available for testing.

Yargunkin gave a positive test for the banned substance Erythropoietin (EPO) and was made to quit the 2015 world championships following reports that he has failed a drugs test. Yargunkin was expected to be Russia’s sole representative in race walking at the IAAF 2015 World Championship in Beijing.

Nikita Kamaev, the executive director of RUSADA, had remarked Yargunkin definitely would not compete at the world championships in Beijing and added the sportsman has been temporarily suspended from competition while an investigation takes place. Kamaev had also remarked that everything that is part of the probe into this athlete is confidential information and RUSADA would not comment on anything until its disciplinary committee passes a decision. Kamaev also commented that an athlete in case of revealing possible breaches in individual disciplines is suspended from competitions for the time of the probe.

Reacting to the positive test, Yargunkin then had remarked this news really was a shock for him. The athlete’s coach, Konstantin Golubtsov, had then remarked that he cannot understand how this could have taken place. Golubtsov went on to add that he wants everyone concerned to study this situation and make it clear how it has so happened that international anti-doping services have not found any banned substances in Yargunkin’s body system but RUASADA has found them.

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Tuesday 29, Apr 2014

  Second Latvian Hockey Player Failed Anti-Doping Test

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Second Latvian Hockey Player Failed Anti-Doping Test

The Latvian men’s hockey team, which reached the quarterfinals before falling 2-1 to Canada during the Sochi Games, has been embarrassed again. This was after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reported that Latvia’s Ralfs Freibergs, a defenseman who played in five games, had his A and B samples test positive for an anabolic androgenic steroid.

Freibergs was tested immediately after the elimination of Latvia by Canada on February 19. It was determined by an IOC hearing on April 4 that he should be punished. Freibergs, who plays collegiately at Bowling Green, will have his eighth place diploma withdrawn according to the IOC ruling. Freibergs may face a ban of two years for first-time offenders and is considered “excluded” from the Sochi Games.

Freibergs was requested on 20 February 2014, at around 00:15 a.m. immediately after the completion of his participation in the Men’s Play-offs Quarterfinals – Canada versus Latvia match, to provide a urine sample for a doping control. Dr. Richard Budgett (the “IOC Medical Director”), as representative of the Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission, pursuant to Article 6.2.1 of the IOC Anti-Doping Rules Applicable to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, in 2014 (the “Rules”), was informed on 22 February 2014 by the Head of the WADA Accredited Laboratory in Sochi, of an adverse analytical finding on the A sample of the above-noted urine.

The analytical report of the laboratory analysis of the A sample, issued by the WADA Accredited Laboratory in Sochi, dated 22 February 2014, indicated the presence of dehydrochloromethyl-testosterone metabolite 18-nor-17b-hydroxymethyl-17a-methyl-4-chloro-5b-androst-13-en-3a-ol (a prohibited substance that belongs to the category of non-specified exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid, in Class S1). The analytical report of the laboratory analysis of the B sample, prepared by the Head of the WADA Accredited Laboratory in Sochi, confirmed the presence of the prohibited substance dehydrochloromethyl-testosterone metabolite 18-nor-17b-hydroxymethyl-17a-methyl-4-chloro-5b-androst-13-en-3a-ol in the B sample.

This is the second instance of a Lativa hockey team member failing anti-doping tests. On February 22, the IOC announced that Vitalijs Pavlovs had tested positive for the stimulant Methylhexaneamine. The hockey player claimed the stimulant was in food supplements recommended by the doctor of his KHL team, Dinamo Rig. His defense was not accepted by the IOC and the International Olympic Committee outlined the list of sanctions against Pavlovs. He was immediately disqualified from the quarterfinal match versus Canada.

The 24-year-old Pavlovs tested positive for Methylhexaneamine (dimethylpentylamine). It was announced by the IOC Disciplinary Commission that the Athlete shall be excluded from the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, and shall have his Olympic identity and accreditation card immediately cancelled. The analytical report of the laboratory analysis of the A sample, issued by the WADA Accredited Laboratory in Sochi, dated 21 February 2014, indicated the presence of Methylhexaneamine (dimethylpentylamine).The Athlete requested the analysis of the B sample, which occurred on Saturday 22 February 2014 at 4:00 p.m., at the WADA Accredited Laboratory in Sochi, in the presence of the Athlete’s representative, Ms. Liga Cirule. The analytical report of the laboratory analysis of the B sample, prepared by the Head of the WADA Accredited Laboratory in Sochi, was communicated to the IOC. Such report confirmed the presence of the prohibited substance Methylhexaneamine (dimethylpentylamine) in the B sample.

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Monday 24, Mar 2014

  Backstrom To Receive Silver Medal From Sochi Olympics

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Backstrom To Receive Silver Medal From Sochi Olympics

Nicklas Backstrom will receive his silver medal from the Sochi Games, according to a ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Swedish ice hockey player participated in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi but was kept out of the gold medal game for testing positive for a banned substance.

The test results of Backstrom revealed an elevated level of pseudoephedrine that is found in his allergy medication Zyrtec-D. The medication is a permitted drug and specific levels of pseudoephedrine are prohibited by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Federation. It was ruled by the IOC Disciplinary Commission that the provisional suspension of Backstrom for Sweden’s gold medal game vs. Canada was “fully justified” but decided to award him the medal as there was no indication that the ice hockey player was trying to enhance his performance.

The IOC Disciplinary Committee remarked it took into account in particular that the athlete had been cooperative, had disclosed the medication in question in the doping control form and had relied on the specific advice of his team doctor that the intake of the medication would not give rise to an adverse analytical finding. The IOC Disciplinary Committee added that there was also no indication of any intent of the athlete to improve his performance by taking a prohibited substance. Based upon these mitigating circumstances, the IOC Disciplinary Committee considered that the athlete should be entitled to receive the silver medal and diploma awarded for men’s ice hockey. The IOC Disciplinary Commission (DC) was composed of Anita L. DeFrantz (Chairperson), Nawal El Moutawakel and Claudia Bokel.

Sweden lost the final to defending champions Canada 3-0. Swedish team manager Tommy Boustedt said at a news conference that the IOC have given amateurism a face and it’s sad that it will affect Nicklas and the hockey organization and added that the timing with this was awful and my suspicion is that this is political and they got the decision two days ago and they waited until it would make a really good impact on you journalists. The adverse finding had come from an over-the-counter medication he uses to treat a sinus condition, said Backstrom and remarked he had been using the medication for years without any problems. He also remarked he told the drug testers he was taking the drug when they asked him for a sample after his team’s quarter-final win over Slovenia. Backstrom told a news conference that he was ready to play probably the biggest game of his career then two and a half hours before the game he get pulled aside.

Swedish Team doctor Bjoern Waldeback said Backstrom has problems with sinusitis and allergic problems and he has for several years taken one pill a day of medication called Zyrtec-D and it contains psuedoephedrine. Waldeback added Nicklas was tested several times before the Olympics and Nicklas also asked him before the Games if he could use this pill, and he told him he could take one. He went on to remark that we could’ve never imagined the consequences of taking a medication that hardly affects the person and ruins the greatest day of his life.

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Wednesday 26, Feb 2014

  Russian Biathlete Withdraws Over Doping Test

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Russian biathlete withdraws over doping test

One of Russia’s brightest medal hopes in the Sochi Games has pulled out of the event over a positive doping test. Irina Starykh, the athletes, termed the positive result as a “misunderstanding” and withdrew herself from the event.

Irina remarked she will leave the team for “an indefinite period.” Irina wrote in a letter posted on the Russian biathlon program’s website that she finds herself in a difficult situation and think it is necessary to inform about her decision to leave the team for an indefinite period of time. She added it would be unacceptable to be on the team until the end of the proceedings because of the test.

The 26-year-old said she has asked the RBU to exclude her from the team until the end of the investigation and to inform all the concerned organizations about her decision. The athlete has meanwhile asked for the B sample to be tested and said she is extremely sorry that this doping story is linked to her name. Starykh, the sixth-ranked woman in the world, won the sprint competition in the European championships last year.

Recently, the International Biathlon Union remarked that one Lithuanian and two Russian biathletes have tested positive for doping. A statement by the International Biathlon Union revealed that the IBU in accordance with the WADA code therefore provisionally suspended the respective athletes from any IBU competitions until the decision of the anti-doping hearing panel is reached. The IBU however didn’t release the names of the athletes or say whether they were members of their countries’ Olympic teams.

Till a few decades ago, Russia was the frontrunner in biathlon but its team had lost its luster in the last few years. Russia has been overpowered by Norwegians and Germans. The country was still considered by many as a serious competitor for many medals in the Sochi Games. The national and international sports officials have appreciated the efforts of Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) president Mikhail Prokhorov, who is also the owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, to clean up the sport. Prokhorov has spent heavily for preparing the biathlon team of Russia for the Olympics. Prokhorov has publicly vowed to resign if Russia does not win at least two gold medals. Prokhorov remarked the RBU would issue a detailed comment on the case only after receiving the records about the case from the IBU. He added we have tested 10 times more samples than WADA (world anti-doping agency) did in these years and we have tested our athletes in and after every training camp as it’s a question of principle for us (RBU).

Meanwhile, Anders Besseberg, the IBU president, has remarked he was very pleased with the detection system. He also expressed his satisfaction over the time and money spent on catching cheats and remarked it is clear proof that we are doing a very serious job here. Max Cobb, president of the U.S. Biathlon Association, said if top-ranked athletes are involved, then it really calls into question the whole program and makes you really wonder about the results of the whole team. Cobb went on to add that he thought that with the new leadership that this was getting cleaned up and said it is very disappointing to see this, if it’s all what it appears to be.

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Friday 22, Nov 2013

  Russian Doping Lab Suspended By WADA

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Russian Doping Lab Suspended By WADA

The World Anti-Doping Agency has provisionally suspended the Moscow Anti-Doping Center. The drug-testing lab faces a suspension of six months unless it dramatically improves the reliability of its results by December 1.

This announcement by WADA comes just three months before the start of the Sochi Games. The World Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement that the suspension will be enacted unless the Moscow Anti-Doping Center demonstrates by December 1 that is preparing a quality management program for increasing confidence in its operations. The statement also disclosed that the center should demonstrate that the improved program has been drafted, finalized, implemented, and embedded by April 1 of 2014. This decision was taken after it was heard by WADA panel that there were serious concerns about the accuracy and reliability of testing results.

The anti-doping agency also recommended to the IOC that testing should be monitored throughout the Winter Olympics in Moscow or a satellite facility in Sochi. WADA chairman John Fahey made this decision after recommendations were made to him by its disciplinary committee. Before the decision was announced, disciplinary committee chairman and former WADA president Dick Pound remarked our expert laboratory group finally came to the conclusion that they ought to suspend the laboratory because it was not sufficiently reliable. It is rumored that there have been reports that the laboratory’s director Grigory Rodchenkov was once arrested in connection with the supply of banned substances.

The Moscow Laboratory can appeal the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of the WADA notification.

WADA said it strongly suggests to the International Olympic Committee to consider appropriate action to ensure the complete integrity of all analysis at the laboratory both in Moscow and the satellite facility at the Sochi Games. Meanwhile, the IOC has lent its support to the Russian center and said it is confident that all the necessary measures will be taken and the Sochi lab will be fully functioning during the Games. An IOC statement added the integrity of the Games-time testing program will remain unaffected by these developments, indeed it will be strengthened.

In August this year, the Moscow lab handled drug tests for the world track and field championships and was expected to do the same for the Moscow lab handled drug tests for the world track and field championships. In case the Moscow lab have its WADA accreditation revoked, the Sochi facility would likely not be able to operate and the local organizers under the host city agreement would have to borne the cost of transferring samples to another lab.

In Winter Olympics history, Sochi will be the most drug-tested games. There would be a total of 2,453 tests before and during the games, including 1,269 pre-competition tests, according to new IOC President Thomas Bach who added the International Olympic Committee will spend $1 million on pre-competition testing for Sochi and many millions on testing throughout the event.

A few months back, the Rio de Janeiro lab was stripped of its WADA accreditation ahead of next year’s football World Cup and samples will be flown to world governing body FIFA’s headquarters in Switzerland during the tournament.

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